RTTNews - The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance benefit in the U.K. increased 23,800 to 1.56 million in June, the Office for National Statistics reported Wednesday. This was the smallest monthly rise in the claimant count since May 2008 and was much smaller than the expected increase of 41,200.

The claimant count rate stood at 4.8% of the workforce, up 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The rate stayed below the expected 5%.

During three months to May, the unemployment rate was 7.6%, larger than the consensus forecast of 7.4%. The unemployment level surged 753,000 annually to 2.38 million.

Annual growth in average earnings excluding bonuses was 2.6% in the three months to May, while earnings including bonuses grew 2.3%.

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